Every member at Nexus
It’s described as “the most significant conference for Sydney Anglican clergy” and it’s happening again this month. The Nexus Conference began in 2009 and has grown over the years, with over 350 people expected to attend and more live streaming around the country.
The Rev Tony Payne, chair of the Nexus committee, says that it’s the gathering of like-minded people that makes it such an important day for ministry leaders.
“There are all kinds of informal ways that we catch up and network with others in ministry. This doesn’t replace any of that, but it’s really one of the very few opportunities each year to get together with a whole bunch of evangelicals and Sydney Anglicans and gather around the word, talk about issues that really bear upon our ministry, and do that theologically. And it’s people from right across the spectrum of ministry experience – from 25 plus years to people just starting out.” - Tony Payne
The Rev Phil Colgan can’t remember the number of years he’s been attending Nexus but he knows it’s a lot. He brings the ministry staff team from St George North with him every year to the conference so they can all be mutually encouraged and benefit together from the day.
“I take them along for the same reasons I’ve always attended: I want them to benefit from that teaching and fellowship,” he says.
“It’s not a conference per se. It’s a gathering of like-minded people to encourage each other. At Nexus we are not arguing for such things as the centrality of evangelism, or the priority of gospel work. Instead we are meeting together because we have such things in common and want to encourage one another to think together about what that means for our lives and ministries.”
The Rev James Warren agrees that the main drawcard for his ministry team at Engadine-Heathcote is being able to gather with others under God’s word. “The talks in particular give us clarity on what’s threatening us on clear evangelical thinking,” he says.
This year’s topic addresses the popular concept of “every member ministry”. Mr Payne says that “we all believe in ‘every member ministry’ and try to facilitate it, but what does the Bible actually say about the role and place of every Christian in ministry and mission? Why should we try to mobilise every member to be involved, and how?
“We want to go back theologically to understand it, as well as talk practically about it.”
Nexus will be held at Village Church, Annandale on March 26, and speakers include Mr Payne, who is doing a PhD on how to think theologically about “one-another edifying speech” in our churches; Pastor Marty Sweeney from Old North Church in Ohio; David Williams, the director of CMS Australia’s training ministry at St Andrew’s Hall in Melbourne; and the Rev Carl Matthei, leader of the campus ministry at the University of NSW.